In an article published last week, Guy Lodge of The Guardian raised the issue that in this so-called “golden age of LGBT film-making, (…) female-focused queer releases (…) remain a minority within a minority cinema; the patriarchy is a hard institution to shake.” It’s no wonder that a lot of lesbian and bisexual creatives turn to the far more democratic medium of web series in order to have their stories told. Even then, however, a great script isn’t a guarantee for success. A lot of gems don’t get past their pilot episode before funding falls through, or interest falls by the wayside.
Here are 10 web series that put the L in LGBTQ. Some of them have found the funding to fulfill their narrative arcs. Some leave you wanting more. All of them give center stage to characters and storylines that haven’t been given much room on prime time TV.
F to 7th
The tagline of F to 7th sums up its main character perfectly: Homoneurotic. Ingrid, who shares a name with creator and main actress Ingrid Jungermann, is “an internally homophobic gay (who) struggles to find herself in a world where sexuality and gender have left her old-fashioned lesbianism behind.”
Build a Boo
Build a Boo is a quirky queer web series about the explosive best friend duo, Season and Ava, and their wishful attempts to manifest their perfect boos. The silliness of the series’ style is balanced out by a script that resonates with realness at all the right moments.
The full series is featured on The Damn Network and comes at a price, but watch the first two episodes on Youtube and I promise you’ll be scrambling to subscribe.
Out with Dad
Out with Dad feels like the lesbian answer to Gilmore Girls, and tells the story of “a teenage girl and her single father. Rose is coming of age, and coming out of the closet. Dad wants to make sure Rose’s coming out is as easy and painless as possible. Sometimes he tries a little too hard.”
Feel free to get hooked on this one, because it has five seasons and 82 episodes! Having reached over 40,000 subscribers on Youtube this can most definitely be classified as a massive hit.
Kiss Her I’m Famous
Two down-and-out best friends orchestrate a fake celebrity sex tape to catapult themselves into fame, while getting revenge on their exes. What could possibly go wrong?
Kiss Her I’m Famous is fast-paced, glossy, and addictive. Even though the fun it pokes at the kind of pop culture that skyrocketed the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian to fame is farcical, its plot unfolds skillfully with a well-placed twist or two.
The 3 Bits
The 3 Bits is a Brooklyn based web series that tells the stories of three siblings: Henry, Madison and Roman. Each one gets 3 episodes of their own, which you can watch in whatever order you want.
“Henry is a gay college kid trying very hard to have a good time. His older sister Roman, also gay, is a former weed dealer trying to get a career in freelance gardening off the ground. And Madison, the oldest, is a mommy blogger determined to prove her rock-‘n’-roll cred.”
Dyke Central “is an independent Oakland-based queer series about a group of 30-something queers navigating life, love, lust and adulthood in the lesbian mecca that is Oakland, California.” This series boasts a particularly diverse cast of characters and 4.7 stars on Amazon Prime. The first two episodes are available on Youtube though – just to make sure you come back for more!
The Better Half
Starring Lindsay Hicks and Amy Jackson Lewis (who were actually a couple at the time), “The Better Half is a series that follows a lesbian couple through the day to day hurdles that come with making a relationship work.” As the folks over at Buzzfeed said, “As you watch this couple attempt to get out of their comfort zone you will be reminded that ALL couples are a little crazy.”
The painfully awkward Kelsey, after which the series is named, is in recovery after being dumped by her long term girlfriend. Her three best friends, Samantha, Tyrone, and Rowan, try their best to support her through the messy process of getting back out there.
Be Here Nowish
Be Here Nowish is the story of “two struggling New York women who ditch their dead-end jobs and head to LA in a search of fun and spiritual awakening.” If you enjoyed Broad City, you’ll be sure to enjoy this cross-country romp starring Alexandra Roxo and Natalia Leite, who you might recognise from Vice.
Watch Be Here Nowish
Entangled With You
In this romantic drama-comedy series two women become roommates after their respective relationships come to an end. “Faced with loneliness, change, and one unexpected bout of VD, new roommates Alisha and Jaliyah get an up close and unwanted look into each other’s personal business.” Tune in for a look at the gritty reality of love and messy break ups.